Three Warning Signs of Meth Addiction to Watch For

Emotional man sitting alone gripping his head in his arms in disappointment.

Methamphetamine, or meth, addiction affects millions of Americans each year.

Although most prevalent in those in their mid to late twenties, meth addiction can begin as early as 12 years old. In fact, in 2017, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health published articles stating that an estimated 964,000 people ages 12 and up had an active meth use disorder.

If you believe someone you love may be struggling with meth addiction, knowing the warning sides will allow you to help them sooner.

What Are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines are a class of highly addictive stimulant drugs that directly affect the central nervous system. Meth can be consumed in various ways, including smoking, snorting, sniffing and injecting. It is typically a white, odorless, crystalized power that can easily dissolve when placed in water or other liquids.

Once taken, meth causes an almost instant rush that lasts only a few minutes before wearing off. It is often used in a “binge and crash” pattern in an effort for the drug user to maintain their level of high for longer than a few minutes.

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug. The government has determined it has the potential for misuse and addiction. Still, it also has accepted medical use and can be prescribed for some health conditions, like ADHD, with strict guidelines and restrictions.

Is Meth Addictive?

Yes, meth is a highly addictive drug that can cause harmful changes in your mental and physical health with continued use. It has also been linked to thousands of overdoses and deaths throughout the country.

Meth addiction is on the rise, especially in California, and is a growing issue amid the opioid epidemic. If you believe someone you know is struggling with a meth addiction, it is essential to know the warning signs to get them to help sooner.

Three Warning Signs of Meth Addiction

1.  Tweaking

Tweaking is considered an emotional response to meth use. It is part of the sleep/wake cycle and involves alternating feelings of both anxiety and insomnia. Tweaking periods are long and highly unhealthy for the body to maintain. For most people, tweaking lasts anywhere between 3-15 days.

Tweaking occurs at the end of a binge period in the binge and crash cycle and happens when a user can no longer achieve a rush from the meth.

Tweaking often leads to various psychological side effects, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Violent outburst
  • Intense feelings of anger and resentment

After a period of tweaking, many users experience a deep need to begin using again to chase the high, or euphoria, they felt before.

2.  A General Loss of Interest

One of the most tell-tale signs of a drug addict is an abrupt loss of interest in the people, places and things that a person once enjoyed. For those using meth, one of the first signs of addiction includes a sudden loss of interest in things such as:

  • Career
  • Family and friends
  • Hobbies and extracurricular activities
  • Education
  • Hopes and aspirations
  • Those closest to them

Meth physically alters how the brain and body function. This leads to significant changes in how the addict thinks and feels.  There is a sudden shift in daily obligations to a sole focus on getting and remaining high with an addiction.

3.  Physical and Emotional Changes

With meth use, there are significant changes in the physical and emotional makeup of an addict.

The most common physical changes include:

  • Weight loss
  • Rotting teeth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sores on the skin
  • Changes in sleep and appetite that may change their overall appearance

Depending on how drugs are taken, an addict may also experience burns and sores from smoking on their fingers and mouth.

The most prominent emotional changes include:

  • Increased energy
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Unpredictable mood changes

Meth Addiction Treatment in Orange County

If you or someone you know is struggling with meth addiction, Miramar Recovery advanced and comprehensive meth addiction treatment, based entirely on your unique health needs and long-term recovery goals. Don’t delay treatment. Call 949-649-7264 to start your meth recovery today.


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